you to the patrons
I would like to extend this Thank You to the many people for allowing me to be a part of one of the best school districts in the state and nation. This first sentence might raise at least two questions, isnít this a little prideful? And second, isnít this easy to say and tough to back up?
First, Iíll address the second question. Most Superintendents feel a measure of pride regarding their school district, but I have the facts to back it up.
Prairie Elementary School has 97% of itís students at grade level or above in reading, 100% at grade level or above in language arts and 97% at grade level or above in math on the ISAT (Idaho Standards Achievement Test) and 94% of their students at or above grade level on the IRI (Individual Reading Indicator). Less then 2% of the elementary schools in the state and nation have their students achieving at this level. In addition, this is our Elementary Schoolís second year of being accredited with Merit Status.
The State Board of Education honored Prairie Middle School this year for Additional Yearly Growth, for increasing the percent of proficient and advanced students in math by more than ten percent. Only 12 other middle schools in the state were so honored.
Concerning Prairie High School, next yearís graduates are the first who must meet the Idaho Standards to graduate or meet alternative, additional requirements at the local level. One hundred percent of our Junior Class has met these requirements. Once again, PHS is one of only a handful of high schools to have all their students pass this rigorous exam. As Sergeant Friday on Dragnet used to say, ď the facts maíam, just the facts.Ē
Now back to the prideful issue. Citing the facts to back it up, I take very little personal credit for this situation. For a school district to achieve at this level, it must have a School Board that is dedicated to providing excellence in educational opportunities for the youth of the community. This sets the tone for learning within a district. All of the present and past school board members I have served with meet this very high standard.
It must have Principals who serve as educational leaders in their schools and insist that every student can achieve, and who hold their staff and students to this standard.
It must have Teachers who, in spite of very little or no growth in compensation over the past five years, are dedicated to serving their students, giving them every opportunity for growth, who encourage, push and prod to make certain they all achieve at a high level; and Staff who influence the educational process through positive, collaborative, dedicated service.
It must have Students who can be creative problem solvers and decision makers, and who make positive contributions to their own education.
It must have Parents and Family who care about and are involved in their childrenís educational growth, and who serves as the childís first and most important teacher. 97% of our elementary parents attended a Parent /Teacher Conference. And finally, it must have a Community that is supportive of the youth in their mist; who care about their well-being, and who share the responsibility for the studentís education.
As I said, my part in all of this is just one small cog in a very large wheel. All I have to do is be a Spokesman and Educational Leader for a district that is performing exceedingly well, and an Advocate for students who have unique strengths and abilities and are very easy to like. I am proud to be a part of this school and this community.
A year and a half ago, I volunteered to go half time as a cost saving measure for the district. This only continues to be workable due to all of the fine people mentioned above. I hope to be able to continue to serve you for several years to come.